German Challenger Bank Penta Executes On European Expansion

Berlin-based challenger bank Penta is keeping its growth streak alive, raising new funding—and adding new members to its board of directors—in a round that saw participation from new and existing investors.

Since its launch in Germany in 2017, the company has become a digital banking partner for more than 17,000 SMEs. Its products allow customers to open a business bank account online in minutes, as well as issue multiple cards for their employees, receive a real-time spending overview and connect with accounting providers.

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Penta recently announced that it is raising $18.5 million in the first closing of a new funding round, led by existing investor Holtzbrinck Ventures and new backer RTP Global. Other new participants include ABN AMRO Ventures, and VR-Ventures, joining another one of Penta’s current investors, finleap. As part of the raise, Alex Pavlov, Partner RTP Global will join Penta’s board, as well as Barbod Namini, Partner HV and Michael Hock, CFO finleap.

The fresh funds follow a busy 2019 for Penta. The company was acquired by finleap, which came with a new CEO, Marko Wenthin, the co-founder of solarisBank, which holds bank accounts for Penta customers. Penta also collaborated with another finleap company, Beesy, to expand into Italy, and partnered with German FinTech iwoca so that its customers can access iwoca’s portal and apply for credit in minutes with funds distributed the same day.

And most recently, Penta is aiming to attract offline businesses through an alliance with card reader company SumUp, allowing businesses to save money by ordering a card reader via Penta. These companies will also have access to existing Penta features.

The new funding will be used to accelerate growth, further development, enhance services and features, and possibly expand into other European markets. There are also plans to hire additional employees.

“We are very delighted to see a strong commitment from such renowned and strategic partners for our vision: Reshaping business banking for small and medium enterprises,” said Wenthin. “By growing the round of investors, Penta will also profit from a wider network across Europe, future co-operations and a significant acceleration of growth.”